The OKR (Objective Key Results) framework, introduced by Andrew Grove in the 1970s, involves setting team objectives and key results. Objectives are larger goals requiring collaboration among team members, while key results are 3 to 5 smaller initiatives contributing to achieving the objective.
This approach promotes:
- Continuous learning
- Process refinement
- Contrast with the result-oriented OKRs that may overlook process improvement.
The framework has stood the test of time and is a valuable tool for businesses that seek to align their efforts with strategic goals and measure their success.
Excel is one of the most used tools in the project management field. Thus, it is no surprise that many teams use it to track their OKRs. However, free OKR tools can be a great starting point for businesses looking to implement OKRs without a significant financial investment. The availability of free OKR software is undoubtedly beneficial, especially for startups and smaller organizations with limited budgets.
Using platforms like G2 and Capterra for comparison, along with a set of specific evaluation criteria outlined below, we’ve compiled a selection of our preferred free OKR tools to assist organizations, teams, and individuals in setting and tracking their goals.
Top 13 Best Free OKR Tools in 2023
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|Free plan||✅Unlimited users||✅||✅||✅||✅||✅||✅||✅|
Capterra score: 4.9/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Teamhood is known as one of the best wholistic OKR solutions. The Teamhood OKR template makes tracking your objectives and key results easy. Objectives are displayed as rows, complete with start and end dates, to keep you on track. You’ll also see a percentage that shows your progress, indicating how many key results are completed and how many remain.
Key results are visualized as work items, allowing for detailed descriptions, separate deadlines, and assignments to specific team members. You can even break them down into smaller sub-tasks for better organization.
This template also employs columns to monitor key result progress: the Input column for not-yet-started key results, the In Progress column for active tasks, and the Output column to showcase achieved key results. You can even split the Output column to distinguish key results that meet the minimum percentage required and those that exceed it.
What’s great is that this Kanban Board OKR template can be used for project and task management, providing versatility and efficiency in your workflow.
- Easy OKR tracking.
- Clear objective presentation.
- Detailed key result management.
- Versatile project/task tool.
- Efficient workflow enhancement.
Price: Free for unlimited users. Register free account.
- Occasional time differences and ergonomic issues.
- While there aren’t native integrations available, achieving integration using the Zapier automation platform is possible.
Capterra score: 4.5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Trello is instrumental in project management, task accountability, and handling administrative tasks. It aids in tracking completions and OKRs, allowing to keep a clear view of who is doing what, when, and with whom.
What teams like: Several aspects were recognized by Trello users. One of them is straightforward visualization of task statuses, simplifying tracking progress. Trello’s user-friendly interface and quick training process are some of the main advantages. It’s an especially suitable option when seeking a solution for personal use.
Flaws to improve: One common concern is that Trello can become more cumbersome as projects grow larger, potentially making it less efficient for managing complex or extensive tasks. To address these concerns, users recommend improving tagging functionality and introducing OKR templates to enhance task management and goal tracking.
- Simple task status visualization
- Rewarding task completion
- Quick team training
- Multi-user access
- Cumbersome for large projects
- Difficult tagging
- Improve tagging and use OKR templates
Price: Free. Paid plans start from $5 per user/month.
Capterra score: 4.5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Asana is a visual task management tool designed to enhance project collaboration. To improve the visualization of project tasks, Asana provides the option to establish a simple Kanban board for monitoring task progress.
What teams like: Users appreciate its templates, which serve as a helpful starting point before customization to specific needs. The visual organization of information especially aligns well with the preferences of visual learners.
Flaws to improve: However, some users express dissatisfaction due to the inability to use calculations for tracking goal progress in real-time, particularly for OKRs linked to tasks, which led to a plan cancellation. Other users highlight the difficulty in tracking information, especially regarding user-friendliness in searches and the complexity of nested threads. Also, some users desire improved form editing capabilities.
- Helpful templates for starters
- Organized, visual approach
- Calendar, team, project features
- Integrations with Google, Evernote, Dropbox
- No calculations for goal tracking
- Complex information tracking
- Limited search functionality
- Nested threads can be confusing
Price: Free. Paid plans start from $13.50 per user/month.
Capterra score: 4.4/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Jira is an efficient task management solution designed to streamline operations within IT organizations. Jira’s ability to facilitate project and employee time tracking, along with its Gantt view for project planning, aligns well with the time-bound nature of OKRs. Primarily tailored to the IT workflow to efficiently strategize, execute, and deploy code while effectively addressing and resolving any issues that may arise. Within Jira, Kanban boards are indispensable for monitoring ongoing tasks and progress.
What teams like: Teams appreciate Jira’s Kanban board and ticketing features, finding them superior to alternatives. The platform aids in project and employee time tracking, offering a helpful Gantt view and problem-solving capabilities. However, users note onboarding challenges, complexity for beginners, and limitations like the absence of a mobile workflow editor and gamification tools.
Flaws to improve: Jira is recommended for smaller software development teams but may not suit larger teams or those requiring extensive project presentation features. Additionally, Jira lacks OKR tracking, which could be a drawback for teams focused on goal alignment and progress monitoring.
- Efficient Kanban board
- Superior ticketing features
- Time tracking & Gantt view
- Effective problem-solving capabilities
- Onboarding challenges
- Complex for beginners
- Lack of mobile editor
- Additional costs for features
- Occasional bugs reported
- Limited OKR focus
Price: Free. Paid plans starting from $7.75 user/month.
Capterra score: 4.6/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Monday.com, a versatile work management and automation solution, organizes work items in a list format, facilitating alignment with OKRs. Users can specify priority, status, and other details, streamlining OKR tracking. Additional capabilities like mirroring and nesting tasks would enhance OKR management, while a dedicated OKR template would be valuable. Limitations include a less comprehensive dashboard and the current inability to directly set OKRs or KPIs within the platform.
What teams like: It’s highly customizable and ideal for various business requirements, including tracking OKRs and KPIs. You can tailor it to your needs by adjusting column terminology, offering usage tips, and setting up automation. The platform also provides different views for flexibility.
Flaws to improve: The enterprise version’s substantial price increase may not suit small organizations. Standard dropdown columns and improved grouping for better reportability would be beneficial on the wishlist. Adding reference data on a board and automating start and end dates from a timeline column would also enhance usability.
- Versatile work management
- Organizes tasks effectively
- Customization options available
- Confusing layout
- Missing metrics and fields
- Limited dashboard functionality
- No direct OKR/KPI setting
Price: Free. Paid plans start from $8 per user/month.
Capterra score: 4.5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Confluence is a comprehensive Document Management software developed for organizational efficiency by consolidating information, facilitating distribution, and promoting collaboration among various teams.
What teams like: Confluence integration with Jira enhances team efficiency and productivity. Its role in facilitating quick and effective collaboration is highlighted, particularly for remote teams. It’s a great platform for documenting results, findings, projections, and takeaways, offering a complete package without requiring extensive add-ons.
Flaws to improve: New users may face a learning curve when adapting to the tool, especially if they have no prior experience. Confluence’s limited time tracking capability is a significant drawback, particularly when compared to alternative tools. Finally, some users desire enhanced search capabilities within Confluence, specifically the ability to search for keywords and phrases within documents beyond just searching for document titles.
- User-friendly knowledge-based tool
- Efficient workflow support
- Effective collaboration for remote teams
- Comprehensive documentation capabilities
- Steeper learning curve for new users
- Perplexing UI for beginners
- Limited time tracking capability
- Challenges in measuring task time
- Need for improved search functionality
Price: Free. Paid plans start from $55 per user/month.
Capterra score: 4.3/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Wrike has been instrumental in implementing OKRs, aiding in consolidating and visualizing company-wide OKRs. Users value the OKR templates for this purpose. This software offers a set of features for project management. Users can break down complex projects into manageable steps and distribute tasks among team members. The availability of Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and calendars provides options for visualizing project progress.
What teams like: On the positive side, users acknowledge Wrike’s robust functionality once users surmount the initial learning curve. This suggests that the tool’s capabilities are perceived as powerful and valuable for project management and related tasks. Furthermore, users commend Wrike for its contribution to implementing OKRs, particularly praising the OKR templates for effectively consolidating and visualizing company-wide objectives.
Flaws to improve: However, there is a notable desire for more visual aids, especially for managing large projects, hinting at the need for features like automatic task collapsing or task assignment highlighting to enhance usability.
Some users encounter bugs and latency issues, particularly when managing large projects, which negatively impact their experience. The user interface is also challenging, leading users to seek external help to locate essential functions. Additionally, the increasing cost of using Wrike over time has created difficulties for teams conducting yearly competitive evaluations against other platforms.
- Powerful functionality post-learning curve
- Effective for implementing OKRs
- Supportive community and reliability
- Automation and customizable fields
- Resource planning assistance is needed
- Bugs and latency in large projects
- Complex UI requires external help
- Increasing cost over time
- Limited resource planning options
- Need for more visual aids
Price: Free. Paid plans start from $9.80 per user/month.
Capterra score: 4.8/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Profit.co is a versatile OKR software that enables organizations to implement and align their goals effectively. It simplifies the OKR adoption process and integrates with popular business apps. It facilitates the Plan-Execute-Engage-Learn cycle for iterative strategy execution, which makes it suitable for organizations of all sizes.
What teams like: Teams using Profit.co appreciate its aesthetics, functionality, and extensive features. They value customization options, responsive customer support, and insightful analytics for real-time insights into OKR progress.
Flaws to improve: The main flaws highlighted by the software users were initial complexity, the learning curve inherent in OKRs, and the time required for implementation. Users also seek improvements in user onboarding and adding a user check-in history report.
- A User-friendly interface.
- Intuitive features aid in ordering thoughts and increasing efficiency.
- Flexibility to handle tasks as projects or concise one-liners.
- Initial complexity and learning curve inherent in OKRs
- Usability slightly lags behind some other tools.
- Negative interface space occasionally hampers task overview.
- Limited report and analytics capabilities cause frustration.
- Confusing registration process due to bundled tools like mind mapping.
Price: Free. Paid plans start from $9 per user/month.
Capterra score: 4.5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Factorial is a cloud-based HR software. It’s designed for small and medium businesses and offers a simple and intuitive interface to streamline HR processes, including time management, talent acquisition, onboarding, and performance reviews. It centralizes time, talent, and document management, eliminating errors and saving time for SMBs, ultimately improving management and reducing costs.
What teams like: Platform’s simplicity and intuitive interface. Users also appreciate its adaptability and how it can cater to the needs of startups and scaling businesses. The platform’s comprehensiveness in covering various aspects of the employee lifecycle, from recruitment to performance management, is also highly valued amongst teams.
Flaws to improve: One common concern is the introduction of significant changes without allowing users to turn off new functionalities, leading to occasional disruptions. Another issue highlighted is occasional glitches in the clock-in and clock-out functionality. Users appreciate its ability to streamline HR processes, although there may be a learning curve for those new to HR systems.
- Crisp and clean interface
- Intuitive for employees
- Scalability for startups
- Centralized employee data
- Reporting capabilities
- Sudden, non-optional changes
- Occasional glitches
- The learning curve for new users
- Manual input for hours
- Limited flexibility in some features
Price: Free. Paid plans start from $4.50 per user/month.
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Capterra score: 4.7/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Quantive is a strategy execution platform. It offers proactive risk identification, improves operational efficiencies, offers real-time progress tracking on strategic goals, shortens decision-making time, and enhances the feedback loop for continuous improvement. It’s all based on the OKR management methodology.
What teams like: Users like its simplicity and straightforwardness in recording, tracking, and managing OKRs. It’s easy to start using the tool with minimal time and effort, and even team members without OKRs can stay informed and in sync. Additionally, some users highlight the benefit of using Quantive Results for weekly reflections and tracking progress, particularly for ranking blockers and help needed.
Flaws to improve: One common issue is the lack of custom ordering of OKRs, making it challenging to sort them in a preferred order. The “Dashboard” and “Feed” functionalities are mentioned as somewhat unintuitive and could benefit from improved sorting options. Inconsistencies in displaying information and the inability to sort lists the way users want are noted concerns. In one case, users mention a minor inconvenience related to using gifs in reflections, where changing tabs before saving can delete the gif.
- Strategy execution platform
- Real-time progress tracking
- Shortens decision time
- Easy tool adoption
- Limited custom ordering
- Unintuitive Dashboard and Feed
- Inconsistent information display
- Gif-related inconvenience
- Sorting options needed
- OKR custom ordering issues
Price: Free version available.
Capterra score: 4.5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Weekdone is a goal-driven employee engagement software offering structured goal setting, progress tracking, and seamless integrations with popular tools. It’s well suited for SMBs and startups aiming to cultivate a results-driven and transparent company culture through OKR, complete with personalized coaching.
What teams like: Teams value Weekdone for its adherence to OKR best practices, promoting a sense of purpose with unique satisfaction tracking. Weekdone’s strength lies in internationalization, OKR alignment, and valuable feedback tools.
Flaws to improve: Some users face project setup and integration synchronization challenges. Larger teams may find setup time-consuming, and the feedback system lacks detail.
- Tracks satisfaction levels.
- Facilitates idea broadcasting.
- Offers a notes section.
- Supports task importing.
- Challenging project setup.
- Sync issues with Microsoft Teams.
- It is time-consuming for larger teams.
- Limited visibility of peer OKRs.
- Limited feedback detail.
Price: Free. Paid plans start from $29 per user/month.
Capterra score: 4.6/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Officevibe is a powerful and user-friendly employee experience platform. The main features are surveys, anonymous feedback, recognition, OKRs, and one-on-one meetings. It’s great for managers and HR departments, particularly for hybrid and remote teams.
What teams like: Users like Officevibe’s ease of use and seamless integration with Slack, simplifying employee access. The reports feature is also well-received, allowing users to track trends over time and prioritize areas for improvement.
Flaws to improve: Some users find that Officevibe lacks specific capabilities in reporting when compared to more complex tools. While it serves its purpose well, it’s noted that other tools offer more robust performance management and OKR features.
- Easy setup and Slack integration.
- Useful trend-tracking reports.
- Valuable anonymous feedback feature.
- Abundance of collected data.
- Insights from different survey questions.
- Limited reporting capabilities.
- Competitors offer more features.
- OKR setup is not user-friendly.
- Lacks certain HR functions.
Price: Free. Paid plans start from $3.50 per user/month.
Capterra score: 4.7/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
ESM+Strategy is a versatile platform that empowers teams to formulate, track, and communicate their strategic plans, leveraging OKR to execute work tactically. It caters to strategy management professionals and various industries, including Healthcare, Insurance, Government, Utility, and Financial Services.
What teams like: Users like ESM+Strategy for its ease of use, robust features, and alignment with the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) methodology. Others value the support and responsiveness of the ESM team, making it a valuable tool for strategic planning and execution.
Flaws to improve: Some users have identified areas for improvement, such as enhancing risk and process management features, exporting Gantt chart views, and refining complex reporting capabilities. Others have mentioned that the initial learning curve for administrators and the need for structural changes can be challenging. Pricing is relatively high compared to other tools.
- Easy to use
- Robust features
- BSC alignment
- Real-time tracking
- Customizable fields
- Responsive support
- Flexible and scalable
- Learning curve
- Complex reporting
- Pricing for some
- Gantt chart export
- Structural changes needed
Price: Free. Paid plans start from $880.
Best free OKRs tools summary
We hope that the evaluation helped you make the right OKR tool choice for you and your team. Before selecting a tool, we advise conducting a thorough assessment and, if possible, a trial run, which can help you determine if a tool is the right fit for your team’s OKR tracking and project management requirements. The best part? You can experience these efficiency gains during the free trial.
Frequently asked questions
How do I choose an OKR tool?
When selecting an OKR tool, consider your organization’s specific needs and priorities. Look for a tool that offers features like goal setting, progress tracking, alignment capabilities, and reporting. It should also be user-friendly and integrate seamlessly with your existing software stack. Additionally, read user reviews and seek recommendations from organizations with similar goals. Testing a few options through trials or demos can help you find the best fit for your OKR implementation.
What are the 4 levels of OKR?
The four levels of OKR typically include:
- Company Level: Here, the top-level objectives are defined for the entire organization, focusing on the company’s overarching goals and mission.
- Team or Department Level: Each team or department aligns their objectives with the company’s goals while adding their unique contributions and priorities.
- Individual Level: Employees set their own OKRs that contribute to their team’s objectives and, in turn, support the company’s goals.
- Personal Level: Some individuals may also set personal OKRs that align with their professional development and career goals, further supporting the overall objectives.
Is OKR a replacement for KPI?
OKRs and KPIs serve different purposes. OKRs are a goal-setting framework that emphasize outcome-oriented objectives and measurable key results. KPIs, on the other hand, are specific metrics used to track performance and measure success in various areas.
While OKRs and KPIs can complement each other, they are not direct replacements. OKRs provide a strategic framework for achieving desired outcomes, while KPIs offer specific data points to measure progress. In many cases, organizations use both OKRs and KPIs to achieve a balanced approach to goal management and performance measurement.
When should you not use OKRs?
OKRs may not be suitable in certain situations:
- Stability and Routine: If your organization is in a highly stable and routine-oriented industry where long-term goals rarely change, OKRs may be unnecessary and too dynamic.
- Short-Term Projects: For very short-term projects with clear, predefined goals, traditional project management methods may be more efficient.
- Resistance to Change: If your organization is resistant to adopting new frameworks or lacks commitment to the OKR process, it may not yield the desired results.
- Lack of Clarity: If your organization lacks clarity in its strategic direction or struggles to articulate objectives, implementing OKRs can be challenging.
- Fully customizable and adaptable
- Swimlanes, WIP Limits, Commitment points, Classes of service
- Best in market visualization of complexity (highest amount of information on one screen)Wide adaptivity
- Rich item details
- Efficient collaboration on items
- Kanban Metrics, customizable dashboards
- Time tracking
- Custom Kanban templates, including OKR template
- And more!
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2019 - Present Marketing specialist
Innovative content marketeer with MSc in International Communication, Mindaugas brings fresh ideas and inspiration about project management and beyond.